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Mike Piazza in Slaughter


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18 replies to this topic

#1 abatt

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 06:04 AM

http://www.nytimes.c...t.html?ref=arts

Piazza will play the gangster in Slaughter on Tenth Ave. at MCB.

#2 Birdsall

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 09:31 AM

I had no idea who that was until I read the link. I wonder why MCB keeps trying to connect ballet with sports. I guess it might work. I have no idea.

#3 Helene

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 09:45 AM

Many companies cast celebrities for guests at "Nutcracker" and other story ballets. It gets the company free news coverage and brings in people who wouldn't consider going. When PNB cast a UW basketball star as Grandfather, his teamates came, as did, I'm sure, a number of his fans.

#4 checkwriter

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 08:37 AM

It's been picked up all over the place - The Daily News had one of its usual photo-mashups - and I happened to be watching Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan when they spent a few minutes discussing it on their morning gab show, with several complimentary references to MCB. And it's nice that he's doing it at the behest of his daughter. “It’s going to be a lot of fun seeing the reaction of my two little girls,” Piazza said in a statement. “For (Nicoletta) to have the opportunity to see Daddy on stage is my little gift. I’m looking forward to it.”

Hard to buy publicity like that.

#5 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 02:10 PM

It's been picked up all over the place - The Daily News had one of its usual photo-mashups - and I happened to be watching Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan when they spent a few minutes discussing it on their morning gab show, with several complimentary references to MCB. And it's nice that he's doing it at the behest of his daughter. “It’s going to be a lot of fun seeing the reaction of my two little girls,” Piazza said in a statement. “For (Nicoletta) to have the opportunity to see Daddy on stage is my little gift. I’m looking forward to it.”

Hard to buy publicity like that.


So sugary...Posted Image

#6 checkwriter

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 02:37 PM

A Google News search of "'Miami City Ballet'" and "Piazza" yields results from USA Today, LA Times, the "Bleacher Report" (not known for its ballet coverage), the UPI wireservice, the Pottstown Mercury, CBS Sports, SI.com (Sports Illustrated), and the International Business Times, among others. All free coverage.

#7 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 03:24 AM


It's been picked up all over the place - The Daily News had one of its usual photo-mashups - and I happened to be watching Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan when they spent a few minutes discussing it on their morning gab show, with several complimentary references to MCB. And it's nice that he's doing it at the behest of his daughter. “It’s going to be a lot of fun seeing the reaction of my two little girls,” Piazza said in a statement. “For (Nicoletta) to have the opportunity to see Daddy on stage is my little gift. I’m looking forward to it.”

Hard to buy publicity like that.


So sugary...Posted Image


now now christian... Posted Image

#8 bart

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 08:31 AM

Piazza is just for Miami, and I'm not sure whether for all performances there. At the Kravis, the "Gangster" was alternated between Renato Penteado and Carlos Guerra. Both looked great. Penteado had some difficulties with his only laugh line ... "I woulda worn my tux.".

#9 Jack Reed

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 08:38 AM

I had no idea who that was until I read the link. I wonder why MCB keeps trying to connect ballet with sports. I guess it might work. I have no idea.


The idea may be "Get 'em in and hope they like it!", the phrase I evoked once from someone in ballet marketing. But what will "it" be? We'll see what Piazza actually does with the role, but I'm afraid he will diminish it because he can't perform it, can't put it across like a seasoned actor can, so that the publicity stunt of his presence in it will diminish the performance, even as it brings a few people into the audience who wouldn't be there otherwise. Will they come back? Will they even "get it"? Does it matter?

I think Cristian is on to something. These stunts mix fine fare with junk food.

Why MCB's marketers keep trying to connect ballet with sports may have to do with their ignorance of ballet - "I go sometimes" is another telling remark I got from a marketer one time - I think it's a good idea some try to find out what they're selling, but in the meantime it looks like they're doing what I think I see marketers doing nearly everywhere - selling everything much the same way, using the same generic methods.

But isn't the experience of art basically different from the experience of watching sporting events? Where's the art in sports? It's not all the same stuff.

#10 Helene

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:38 AM

The gangster is a very small cameo, and I've never seen a seasoned actor perform it. For me, it's usually the thrill of hearing a dance speak that one line, and a little awkwardness is no big deal to me.

A baseball player like Piazza has far more experience in the public eye -- attendance at a rainy, cold mid-week afternoon game in April from perpetual cellar-dwellers can exceed the total number of people who see "Slaughter" in a run -- performing, making public appearances, and having a microphone stuck in his face -- than the average dancer who performs the role.

Sportsmen especially are brought in to counter the idea that ballet is a sissy activity. Without a culture like Russia's that extols its dancers (ballet, ballroom) and skaters, despite rampant homophobia, this is about the only sell to most men in North America, like it or not. Every time an athlete is interviewed and talks about how difficult ballet is and how the men are athletes, and about their (often newfound) respect for their temporary colleagues, this is a win, and ballet companies can't buy that kind of publicity or the example of the macho guy who shows humility and genuine appreciation, in short, who recognizes.

I don't care if he does it for his daughters, which I find kind of sweet: my father brought us to the ballet when we were young because it was important to us, and the sight of a 6'8" basketball player holding his little niece's hand in the lobby when "Nutcracker" or "Cinderella" is playing -- (Oh, where is my tissue...)

#11 Birdsall

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:44 AM

Piazza is just for Miami, and I'm not sure whether for all performances there. At the Kravis, the "Gangster" was alternated between Renato Penteado and Carlos Guerra. Both looked great. Penteado had some difficulties with his only laugh line ... "I woulda worn my tux.".


I didn't see you on Friday. Glad to know you were there!

#12 Jack Reed

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 02:49 PM

... this is about the only sell to most men in North America, like it or not. Every time an athlete is interviewed and talks about how difficult ballet is and how the men are athletes, and about their (often newfound) respect for their temporary colleagues, this is a win, and ballet companies can't buy that kind of publicity or the example of the macho guy who shows humility and genuine appreciation, in short, who recognizes. ...


Is it a win if the North American men who hear this, watch some ballet as a consequence, and find out it doesn't look hard are puzzled by what they see?

#13 Jack Reed

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 03:17 PM

... my father brought us to the ballet when we were young because it was important to us...


Aha! Could you elaborate on how ballet became important to you?

#14 sandik

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 03:55 PM

This is a standard practice in the arts now -- most Nutcrackers around here have some kind of guest performance in the party scene drawn from their community or the local media, and that's just one ballet. Off the top of my head, Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nut has had basketball players, football players, weather forecasters and donors perform in the "Grandfather" dance. I cannot remember if Kent Stowell choreographed it specifically to be danceable by amateurs, but it brings them extra attention during a season where there's a lot of competition for audiences.

As far as recognizing the athleticism of the artform is concerned, I've sat through multiple lecture-demonstrations in local schools where young boys are impressed when they recognize the physical skills that support what they tended to think was a "sissy" activity.

#15 Helene

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 05:27 PM

Is it a win if the North American men who hear this, watch some ballet as a consequence, and find out it doesn't look hard are puzzled by what they see?

I don't think they could go and actually watch a ballet and not think it's hard, even it if the difficulty is only recognizable in the Hoofer. Besides, a sports hero told them it was hard.


... my father brought us to the ballet when we were young because it was important to us...


Aha! Could you elaborate on how ballet became important to you?

I saw some ballet excerpt either on the Ed Sullivan show or Firestone Theater or Bell Telephone Hour and was hooked, just like the first time I saw figure skating and gymnastics. I think my sister just wanted to get out of the house Posted Image


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